1924

As I said, I’m headed in a few short hours to the National SABR Convention in Minneapolis, and I won’t be back until Sunday night. So I’ll be keeping this election open until Sunday night. I’m hoping that these extra days will give more people the time needed to join in the fun. That first ballot, getting started, is the toughest one.

Normally, if a player doesn’t receive a vote, he drops off the ballot. I’ve decided to amend that for this election, and keep on the ballot guys who received multiple votes in previous elections. The newcomers in ’22 and ’23 so overwhelmed the proceedings that I thought it best to keep the ballot in ’24 fairly large. There were 12 men who didn’t receive a vote in the ’23 election, but I have kept on for the ’24 election.

I won’t be voting until Sunday. I want to talk to some experts about the black ballplayers and a few of the Dirty Ball Era guys.

Chief Zimmer dropped from the rolls, having used up his 15 years of eligibility.

If I counted right, it’s 55 names to go thru. I know it’s a lot, but about half you can forget about pretty quickly. And don’t forget to utilize the write-in option as well. If there is anyone you want to keep on the ballot for future elections, please name him. Or them, if need be.

If any new readers have questions, please feel free to ask them. I’ll have my wife’s laptop available, so I’ll keep in touch.

1 Jimmy Archer
9 Ginger Beaumont
2 Chief Bender
1 Bob Bescher
4 Roger Bresnahan 8th
3 Miner Brown 3rd
1 Harry Buckner
10 Jack Chesbro
1 Harry Covelskie
1 Doc Crandall
12 Lave Cross
2 Harry Davis
5 Mike Donlin
1 Wild Bill Donovan
1 Mickey Doolin
2 Johnny Ever 6th
1 Bud Fowler
1 George Gibson
3 Charlie Grant
5 Frank Grant
1 Bob Groom
1 Bob Harmon
1 Abe Harrison
8 Topsy Hartsel
1 Dick Hoblitzell
3 Miller Huggins
1 John Hummel
1 Grant Johnson
11 Fielder Jones
6 Johnny Kling
1 Tommy Leach
9 Sam Leever
15 Herman Long
13 John McGraw 9th
7 Deacon McGuire
2 Chief Meyers
5 Bill Monroe
1 Ray Morgan
1 Rube Oldring
2 Eddie Plank 4th
7 Jack Powell
2 Ed Reulbach
1 Germany Schafer
1 Wildfire Schulte
6 Cy Seymour
5 George Stovey
8 Fred Tenney
1 Jeff Tesreau
8 Roy Thomas
3 Joe Tinker 7th
1 Heinie Wagner
1 Bobby Wallace
2 Ed Walsh 5th
1 Sol White
1 Billy Whyte
1 George Wilson

Bob’s ballot:

1. Plank
2. Walsh
3. Evers
4. Tinker
5. Brown
6. Wallace
7. Leach
8. F Grant
9. Fowler
10. Whyte

Just to explain my ballot, which might change significantly over the next few elections, I talked to a number of Dead Ball Era Committee members on how they’d place the trio of Cubs. The consensus was Evers over Tinker and some had Brown over them and some had Brown under them. But most had it Evers-Tinker-Brown. I already had it in that order, so that didn’t change.

I talked to a number of Negro League Committee members and for them pre-1920 black players are exceedingly similar to Amateur Era white players: we just don’t know. I ranked the three that got the majority of mentions in my bottom three. Grant “Home Run” Johnson was fourth. No one, to my surprise, mentioned Bill Monroe. Sol White and Rube Foster were strong Contributor choices, Foster the obvious #1. Both will be on the ’25 Contributors ballot. Foster will be my likely #1 choice. I got a number of e-mail addresses over the week, so I’ll be contacting them individually for additional input.

Terry’s ballot:

1: Miner Brown
2: Johnny Evers
3: Roger Bresnahan
4: Eddie Plank
5: Joe Tinker
6: Ed Walsh
7: Chief Bender
8: John McGraw
9: Bobby Wallace– Seventeen of the thirty six men who played for the 1918 Cardinals hadn’t yet been born when Wallace broke into the majors. He came up as a pitcher, and he didn’t play any shortstop until five years after he came to the majors. Looked like Nick DiPaulo; was his mother Italian?
10: Herman Long

Honorable Mention


Cy Seymour
Grant Johnson– He might be a GOR level player based on his reputation, but I don’t know much about him. Anyone?

Other Stuff

Bob Bescher- Led the league in steals his first four seasons as a regular and drew quite a few walks; fifth in the 1912 MVP race after leading the league in runs and stolen bases. WAR hates left fielders, doesn’t it? His defensive stats are pretty good, but he was saddled with a large WAR deficit for his defense.

Harry Covelski- What might have been…. Famous streak in late 1908 with the Phils, then he struggled in 1909 and ended up back in the minors in 1910. He won 21 games (including 2 no-hitters) and had a 1.55 era for Birmingham in 1910, then struggled for the next two years with arm trouble. He won 28 games for Chattanooga in 1913, earning another look in the majors. He won 22, 22 and 21 games for the Tigers in 1914-1916 with good peripherals before the arm troubles returned. His career 2.34 ERA for Detroit (5 seasons) remains the franchise record.

Doc Crandall- Started or finished 176 of his first 182 career games, and led the league in games finished five years in a row.

Wild Bill Donovan- Posted 111 ops+ as a hitter in 1907 (career ops+ was 49), and went 25-4 despite being only the third best pitcher on the staff. He was 68-25 in 1907-10, and under .500 the rest of his career (117-122), but the numbers don’t tell me that he was more than a tad better in his big winning percentage years than he was the rest of the time. He was just luckier. He wasn’t as lucky when he swapped berths on a train with George Weiss in 1923. He was killed when the train crashed, while Weiss was unhurt.

Mickey Doolin- Dal Maxville type; couldn’t hit a lick but he led his leagues in assists six times, putouts four times. He was mentioned in the MVP voting in 1911 and 1913. His ops+ in 1913 was 50. I would imagine that has to be the record for lowest ops+ for a position player receiving MVP votes, but I haven’t researched it.

Bud Fowler- According to Wikipedia, he once said; “…when a ball player signs a league contract they can do anything with him under its provisions but hang him.” There is a Pacer Smith joke in there somewhere, but dammed if I can figure out what it is….

George Gibson- Go figure…. Gibson got votes in the 1911 MVP election with an ops+ of 49. We have a new “record”….

Bob Groom- He led the league in losses three times, for three different teams. Is that a record? He never played for Brooklyn; I checked.

Dick Hoblitzell- I don’t know what to make of this, but he played in the Negro Leagues in 1908. Was this a common practice? He played for well over a decade in the minors (.322 career minor league batting average) after his major league career was over.

Tommy Leach- I an inclined to think that Leach falls short of GOR quality, and Hall quality. He was a really good player, but in my opinion clearly below the line. He wasn’t a lot below the line, though, hence the mention.

Rube Oldring- Hit .340 and had by far his best season in 1910, but he (1) missed the World Series after he was injured in an exhibition game against an AL All Star team; and (2) did it a year before the MVP awards started. Bad timing, dude…..

Wildfire Schulte- Won the only MVP award he was eligible for; a solid player who had a couple of big years, not a serious GOR candidate in my opinion. He hit .321 in four World Series, 21 games.

Jeff Tesreau- Petered out after a strong start; led the league in fewest hits per nine each of his first three years in the league.

Sol White- More of a contributor than a player, I think. His book is available on Amazon, for less than 10 bucks even after shipping.

Results:

The results from 8 voters wasn’t particularly surprising, tho I was a bit by the 3 #1 votes for Brown, as I had 4 players above him.

78 Miner Brown
73 Eddie Plank
*************
68 Ed Walsh
50 Johnny Evers
34 Bill Monroe
32 Joe Tinker
28 Bobby Wallace
21 Roger Bresnahan
20 Frank Grant
13 Bud Fowler
11 Chief Bender
10 Tommy Leach
10 John McGraw
8 Roy Thomas
8 Sol White
6 Herman Long
4 Jack Powell
4 Ed Reulbach
3 Cy Seymour
2 Jack Chesbro
2 Mike Donlin
1 Harry Davis
1 Grant Johnson
1 Billy Whyte

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